Friday, 22 February 2013

19th February – You Want Cats...You Got it!!!

Photo of the Day

Three of six cheetahs resting after their impala kill

Morning Drive
(Chad and Grant)
6 x cheetahs (female and 5 sub-adults with impala kill) – Tanda Tula, Giraffe Plains
3 x lions (Ximpoko, Mabande male and Machaton female) – Tanda Tula, Tortillis Plains
1 x leopard (Argyle Jnr’s Boy) – Peru, Piva Plains
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Motswari, Airstrip
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Kings, Luxon’s Rd
1 x elephant bull – Karans, Western Cutline
1 x elephant bull – Tanda Tula, Giraffe Plains
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Camp Dam
1 x elephant bull – Vielmetter, Vielmetter Access
4 x rhinos

Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Andrea and Grant)
2 x lions (Mabande male and Machaton female) – Tanda Tula, Giraffe Plains
4 x rhinos
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Java, Crossing Below Java
1 x elephant bull – De Luca, Nyati Dam
1 x elephant bull – De Luca, Drongo Drive

Daily Synopsis
Im probably losing followers by the day with my slow updates, but im slowly catching up, just been a busy, busy week!

This post however, is probably worth the wait!  What an incredible day we had!  It started out with Grant finding some elephants near the airstrip, so I went and joined him with the herd that also happened to contain my favourite elephant – the long-tusked cow – and as usual, she came walking within a metre of the Land Rover!  The highlight however was watching her calf as he tried his best to chase us away, attacking the bushes and ground as he went – too cute for words!

While with them, Grant’s form continued and he radioed to let me know he had a leopard on Piva was Argyle Jnr’s boy, so after finishing with the elephants, we moved in his direction, but sadly he was walking off the clearing and into a thicket as we arrived – we managed to follow him as he moved back to the clearing, unfortunately for him, the impalas saw him and started alarm calling, so he went back north and we left him sleeping in a drainage line. 

While he slept, our morning was only just beginning, as the southern stations had found something special...the six cheetahs had been found with an impala kill on one of the open areas further south and invited us down – Grant was already in the south and had a wonderful sighting of all six feeding together!  I was miles away, but headed there slowly, and stopped for a quick smoke break at Hide Dam before continuing to the area. 

We got to spend some lovely time with them as they finished off the remains and rested there; the one youngster was still very nervous, but the others were great and we got treated to a wonderful scene – eventually they went to rest in a shady area and we carried on...we weren’t done yet!

One clearing away, there were more cats!  This time it was the Ximpoko males and a Machaton lioness, and for late in the morning, it was a surprise to see them partially active, but they were just moving to a more shady area!  On the way to the lions, we got to see a large elephant bull in musthe that took some interest in us before we left him in peace!

With Grant also seeing rhino this morning, he tried to complete the Big 6 in one drive, but had no luck....oh well, I guess lions, leopard and cheetah will have to do!

With such a great morning under our belts, we took the afternoon “off” and turned off the radio and headed to the remote wilderness area of Buchner.  We started around the lodge with impala, waterbuck and warthogs.  A bit further north we had two sightings of large elephant bulls (one of which we had seen having a mud bath on our bushwalk), one of which was also splashing in the mud.

Moving to Buchner, we saw impalas and spiders.  A lot of spiders.  Probably more spiders than there are in the rest of the world!!!  It was crazy, the golden orb webs were everywhere, but I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise considering no one ever drives there!  There were tracks for buffalo, but not much else – we saw a lone giraffe, impalas and some nice birds, but it was quiet – luckily we got to watch a stunning sunset from the Koppies, and that alone was worth the trip.  Heading back to the camp, we had a hyena dash past us, and far fewer spiders!  While the property didn’t hold the surprises I had hoped, it was still a perfect way to end off another memorable Motswari adventure!

Look forward to tomorrow’s installment...


  1. As always wonderful sightings! I always read your blog and it is always a treat. I really enjoy reading your post so Please keep up with the good work and thank you very much for taking the time to share such great things with us! :))

  2. Chad, as long as you keep supplying us with great photos and accompanying them with your perfect descriptions I don't think you have to ever worry about losing followers. I'm pretty sure most of us who visit here regularly (even if I rarely comment I do come here daily) cherish what you provide us and are grateful at how often you provide us with these blogs.

    Without a doubt this is my favorite blog to visit and it is easily one of the most updated blogs out there (even when you are "taking your time").

    Thanks, as always, for the tremendous sightings you are sharing with us today. I love the cheetah photos.


  3. Love all your pics as always Chad and don't mind if I have to wait for them ! That cheetah mum has done well to keep 5 cubs alive and looking so well ! Love the ellie pics too, and Argyle Juniors boy is SO handsome ! Rosie.

  4. Chad as always the writing and the pictures are a treat for sore eyes - you all are so very lucky to be able to do this day in day out. Thanks so much for your blog

  5. Fabulous as always. Just keep those Cheetahs there until October.
    Sue UK
    PS talking of cats saw this week the Big Cats of the Timbavati on Nat Geo Wild - just superb!!!

  6. Agree 100% with Zach... This blog is the best by far, and it is fine to wait sometimes because the quality of the photos esp is amazing, never mind the stories that goes with it.

    Lovely sightings Chad, love the leopard, lion and off course the cheetah sighting, but my favourite this time is the elephant bull in musthe...
    Well done on a great blog!!!


  7. Amazing! Thank you!

  8. Dankie Chad,ek ismal oor Wilde Diere en waardeer jou mooie fotos baie.